Valentina Loconte, Jian-Hua Chen, Mirko Cortese, Axel Ekman, Mark A. Le Gros, Carolyn Larabell, Ralf Bartenschlager, Venera Weinhardt,
Using soft X-ray tomography for rapid whole-cell quantitative imaging of SARS-CoV-2-infected cells, Cell Reports Methods, Volume 1, Issue 7, 2021,
High-resolution and rapid imaging of host cell ultrastructure can generate insights towards viral disease mechanism, for example for a severe acute respiratory 2 syndrome coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection.
Here, they employ full-rotation soft X-ray tomography (SXT) to examine organelle remodelling induced by SARS-CoV-2 at the whole cell level with high spatial resolution and throughput. Most of the current SXT systems suffer from a restricted field of view due to the use of flat sample supports and artifacts due to missing data. In this approach using cylindrical sample holders, a full-rotation tomogram of human lung epithelial cells is performed in less than 10 minutes.
They demonstrated the potential of SXT imaging by visualizing aggregates of SARS-CoV-2 virions and virus-induced intracellular alterations. This rapid whole cell imaging approach allows them to visualize the spatiotemporal changes of cellular organelles upon viral infection in a quantitative manner.